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tv   FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace  FOX  December 20, 2009 9:00am-10:00am EST

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out monday and tuesday. frederick county, monday and tuesday. and morgantown monday and berkeley, west virginia, monday and tuesday. >> so go to our myfoxdc.com for the closings on there for you. >> and limited metro bus service up and going. so check our our website for the latest is "fox news"fox news sunday." it's the s sununda bebefo chris but all through the senate, health care reform awaitses to finished. can republicans block the legislation? we'll ask their point man senator john mccain. can democrats hold on to the magic 60 votes to pass their bill? we'll ask two of their key players, senators kent conrad and amy klobuchar. mccain, conrad and klobuchar,
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only on "fox news sunday." plus, the copenhagen compromise. is it a meaningful deal or empty rhetoric? we'll ask our sunday group what it means for global warming and president obama's image. and our power player of the week, honoring the nation's military during the holiday season. all right now on "fox news sunday." and hello again from fox news in washington. well, we have been hit with 16 inches of snow. in case you don't know how washington handles the white stuff, that qualifies as a full-fledged blizzard around here. but the weather aside, the senate is in session working on health care reform and it looks like democrats now havthe 60 votes they need to pass it. here to discuss what republicans do now is senator john mccain. senator, thanks for coming in. welcome back to "fox news sunday." >> thank you, chris. >> now that senator nelson has signed on to the democratic plan --
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>> signed on, is it -- >> we'll talk about that. >> is there anything that republican senators can do to stop the senate from passing health care reform by christmas eve? >> probably not. but what we can do is continue winning the battle of american public opinion. it's very clear since we have been wagin this battle on the floor of the senate and on all over america that increasingly american public opinion is against this massive new addition to our debt and deficit than government intervention in health care in america. so we'll fight the good fight. we will fight until the last vote. we owe that to our constituents because we can't -- we must do everything, we must look back and say we did everything we can to prevent this terrible mistake from taking pla. >> now, you laughed when i talked about senator nelson signing on. what do you think of the deal that was made that got him to be a supporter, the 60th vote?
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>> i'll let the american people judge the fact that medicaid costs will not be borne by the state of nebraska forever and that puts an added burden on all the other states, including mine. but i think the real problem here and the situation that we have gotten ourselves in is the president of the united states said when running we would have a new way of doing business in washington, there would be change, he would negotiate across the table, we'd have the c-span cameras in and obviously with their majorities and i understand majorities, they decided to govern from the left and without republican participation. that's why they're in a position of having to purchase the last vote or two. >> the nonpartisan congressional budget office has scored the bill, has read it and analyzed it. let's put up on the screen what it says. it says this new democratic plan cuts the deficit by more than $130 billion in the first decade, by up to $1.3 trillion
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over the second ten years and it expands coverage to 31 million unensured. senator, aren't those all god things? >> first of all, that assumes that the cuts in medicare, which are to the tune of a half a trillion dollars, are going to take place. that assumes that things lik the doctors fix and others are taken care of, which they haven't been in the past. the fact is that this is -- and of course only bernie madoff would approve of this kind of budgeting. in other words, for the first four years after this budget is signed, the taxes are increased and the benefits cut. and the costs are reduced. it is only after four years that the benefits kick in. so i'm not trying to get too arcane here but if you go out and you buy a car, nowadays you don't have to pay for a year. now this deal is you pay for four years before you get the benefits.
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that is budget gimmickry and we all know it. >> one part of the democratic plan that you've hit hard and you've referred to it is the almost half trillion dollars in medicare cuts that are provided for in the bill. here's what you said recently on the senate floor: >> these are not attainable cuts without eventually rationing health care in america and rationing health care federal reserve our senior citizens. >> but, senator, democrats point out that during the last presidential campaign last year, you proposed big cuts in medicare and medicaid and senate majority lder harry reid accused of you a, quote, big belly flop flip flop. >> what i proposed was changing the tax treatment of employer-provided health care benefits that, we would give americans a $5,000 refundable tax credit to go out and buy insurance wherever they want to. i also had medical malpractice
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reform. i also had ability to go across state lines to buy insurance of your choice, outcome-based treatment, wellness -- all of those lead to reductions in cost of health care. >> but to be -- >> the fundamental -- let me say the fundamental of it was not providing -- was removing the tax benefit from health care-provided health benefits. >> to be fair, in the campaign you wanted to cut government funding for medicare advantage and according to a wall street journal article in october of 2008 after talking to your top economic adviser, proposed cuts to medicare and medicaid today 1.3 trillion over ten years. >> the factcheck.org immediately debunked that article by that wall street journal writer. it was false, they called it false, it had nothing to do with our proposals. of course we need savings in
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medicare and medicaid. we can find all kinds of in fraud, abuse and waste but we certainly aren't going to do it by taking away medicare advantage from 330,000 citizens of mine who are under medicare advantage program, which has been most successful. we can reduce costs but these kinds of draconian cuts that they're talking about, half a trillion dollars, is certainly not doable in any way, shape or form and it is violating the president's commitment to the people who are under medicare. >> as of today the president -- as of today the president has been in office 11 months. how do you think he's done? has he been the president he promised when he ran against you? >> no, in this respect -- he said there would be a change in the climate in washington. there's been a change. it's more partisan. it's more bitterly divided than it's been. have i never been asked to engage in a single sear combrous
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negotiation on any issue, nor has any other republican. now they've brought single republicans down to try to pick off one or two republicanso you can call it, quote, bipartisan. there's never been serious across-the-table negotiations on any serious issue that i have engaged in, i and others have engaged in with other administrations, both republican and democratic. >> are you saying -- >> i'm saying there has been no real -- >> more partisan than bill clinton? >> in some ways of course. yeah, at least underillary care they tried seriously to negotiate with republicans. there's been no effort that i know of that as serious across the table negotiations such as i is engaged in with democrats and with other administrations. and that was the commitment that the president made. look, they can govern however they want to with a majority but the commitment that the president made to change the climate that, quote, sit down and bring the c-span cameras in
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so that -- and that's practically an exact quote, americans can see who is on the side of pharmaceutical companies and who is on the side of the people. we could have saved $100 billion to consumers by being able to reimport drugs from canada. we turned it down. medical malpractice reform. ask any doctor. they'll tell you the practice of defensive medicine drives up the cost of health care. there's no provision in here for that because of the trial lawyers. >> the president talking to oprah winfrey gave himself a grade of b plus the other day and said if we get health care reform it tips into an a minus. what grade would you give him? >> i would still give him an incomplete. i still think we can win overtime on this issue. ihink he's fond out in copenhagen that maybe it's more important to be respected than to be loved. >> let me ask you -- >> by the way, presidents i know
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usually don't grade themselves. usually they let the people grade them. >> president obama is just back from copenhagen with a climate deal that he called an unprecedented breakthrough. how meaningful do you think it is? >> i think that the fact it has no binding provisions to it whatsoever is a rhetorical attempt to cover up what was obviously a serious failure. but, again, the american people right now are not interested in giving $100 billion to other countries, not when we have 10% unemployment and we have people who can't stay in their homes and the serious economic situation that prevails in the united states today. >> some people are asked and i know you know this because you read the papers and you say what's happened to john mccain? you, for instance, were a big supporter of global warming legislation yet joe lieberman and lindsay graham came out with
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a provision and you said it was horrendous. many is say you have become more combative and more conservative on many issues. >> i unfortunately have always been combative. second of all -- >> have you always been conservative? >> yes. although i've certainly stood up for the things i believe in. look, i am happy with the honor of serving the people of arizona. i am happy to be back in the arena. i'm happy that people listen to my views and enjoy the debate and discussion. i still continue to work across the aisle with my democrat colleagues but the fact is this issue that's before suss one sixth of the gross national product of our country. we have to fit with every fool we have. the debates woef been having have been vigorous, respectful and very important. and american public opinion has swung way over in our direction. most americans now want to do nothing. at this moment.
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i agree with them. >> does the fact -- you may argue whether it is a fact -- but does the perception that you have moved to the right this year have anything to do with the fact that you might face a possible primary challenge from former conservative congressman j.d. hayworth next year? >> i've always taken any race seriously no matter who is running against me. the fact is i've gotten back in the arena, fought for the things i believe with, worked with the administration on a whole variety of issues. i will continue. i believe theob of the opposition is to work with the president and the democrats where you can but where it's philosophically fundamentally different, do everything that you can to see that your point of view prevails. i've been very happy to have the teamwork with my colleagues and the republicans in the senate and the work they've been doing and i'm proud of every within of them. >> in the time we have left, a lightning round of quick questions, quick answers.
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i know you like this. >> you support and have supported for years the idea of closing guantanamo bay. what do you think of the president's apparent plan to send up to 100 detainees from ga guantanamo bay to illinois? >> i think it's serious mistake. right now they're going tory terrorists in new york city thereby giving khaled sheik mohamed what he wanted when he was captured. he said i want a trial in the united states and a lawyer. >> what's wrong with thompson, illinois? >> well, first of all, i think that it's anywhere in the united states. it's not the fact that it's thompson, illinois. >> what's wrong with sending them there? >> i think they should be either sentenced to have the kind of military commissions that we have outlined in law and they have to make additional changes
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to and because they are enemy combatants and i don't think they should be kept in prisons in the united states. >> iran keeps enriching uranium, it's apparently tested a missile that could reach israel. what the should president do in terms of sanctions or military action? >> well, obviously we've just given the iranians some additional time to continue their efforts at acquisition at nuclear weapons and we have additional information about the work that they are doing. the president should impose sanctions and all the ones we've talked about and will on this program. but the president should stand up for the people who are demonstrating and risking their very lives on behalf of freedom on the streets of tehran. the president refused to speak up when the first days of those demonstrations i think was wrong and i think we ought to have -- be able to -- i think we should pass legislation to encourage those demonstrators to provide them with the information that
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they need and the mor support. it's not an accident the demonstrators are saying obama, obama, are you with us or are you with them? let's make it very clear we are with these people that are struggling for freedom as we always have. >> finally, your running mate, sarah palin, went on a vacation -- i assume you know this -- went on a vacation to hawaii and wore a sun viser with your name blacked out. she said she adores you, she wanted to travel incognito. your reaction? >> can't you take her at her word? we have a wonderful relationship, we're dear friends. she is going to be a force in the republican party for a long time and the hysterical attacks on her from the left continue to validate that. >> so what do you think of the blacked out -- >> it's fine. sarah said she wanted to be a little bit incognito.
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i don't blame her. i stand that. are we in such a world now where we have climate change, health care we form, all these issues going on, massive debts and deficits that we worry about sarah palin's viser? >> i didn't ask you about tiger woods, senator. thank you for coming in, braving the elements. merry christmas to the mccain family and we'll see you in the new year. >> always a pleasure. >> up next, we'll hear about the two top democrats about the compromises they had to make to get health care reform. we'll get the inside story right after this break.
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early saturday morning as snow felt on capitol hill, democrats secured the 60th vote from nebraska senator ben nelson. now it appears to be just a matter of time and parliamentary procedure before they pass health care reform on christmas eve. who discuss the package are two key democratic senators, kent con -- conrad and amy klobuchar. welcome. according to the cbo, federal spending on health care goes up about $200 billion over the next decade, it doesn't bend the cost curve down, the bill raises $51 billion in new taxes at a time
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when unemployment is 10% and it leaves 23 million americans still uninsured. as chairman of the senate budget committee, isn't there a lot wrong with this bill? >> look, no legislation is perfect but this bill is a very significant advance to address health care reform. fat is it reduces the deficit in the first ten years by $130 billion. in the second ten years by $1.3 trillion. that is a major accomplishment. with respect to bending the cost curve, cbo says in the second ten years it does bend the cost curve. in the first ten years very modest increase but you'd expec that when you cover 30 million more people. what's remarkable is in the second ten years according to cbo, it does balanced the cost curve in the right way. >> one of the ways that democrats got ben nelson's vote, and this has been remarked on by senator mccain, was to pick up
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the entire cost, federal and state, of the expanded medicaid coverage in one state, nebraska, forever. what republicans are calling now the cornhusker kickback. that's tens of millions on top of the $300 million to get luce loose senator landrieu on board. as chairman of the budget committee, how do you justify sweetheart deals for a few states? >> well, on a policy basis, look, all states have the federal government picking up all of the medicaid expansion through 2016. so -- >> but only one state after that. >> the fact is no congress can bind a future congress. so that's frankly not without a whole lot of manning. let's be frank. every state has all of the medicaid expansion paid through 2016. after that states like mine and states like nebraska that are
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going to be having medicaid expansion, most of it, the overwhelming majority of it, in my state 99% of it is paid for by the federal government. >> all policy matters are politic political matters. does it offend you vermont gets a special deal, michigan gets a special deal? >> my state gets a special deal. virtually every state gets some kind of differential treatment based on their situation. my state along with the other frontier states, five in number, get an increase in their medicare levels of reimbursement because we're the lowest states in the country. that doesn't offend me at all. it's in fact fair. >> actually, minnesota as a part of the amendment that senator grassley introduced, also because we are high-quality, low-cost state got a good deal on that as well. and i'd add that med desize tax, $40 billion reduced to 20 billion, evan bayh and i led
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that effort because it fell on our states, indiana, minnesota, massachusetts. >> i thought obama was going to change the way business was done in washington. this sounds like politics as usual. >> i think you would ree with me on the reduction of this tax, it's better for the country, better for the country with this burgeoning industry -- >> it was done in all these cases to get individual senators. >> people fight for their on states. that's the nature of a democracy. >> isn't that business as usual? >> i think that is not the business as usual what obama was talking about. he was talking about under-the-table deals people find out about two years later. i'd say this process is fairly transparent. >> let me talk you about another aspect to winning over senator nelson. democrats agreed to further limit abortions in these new public exchanges. nebraska or any state can vote to ban any policies being offered on the public exchanges from offering any abortions, even to women who would pay for
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them privately. as a pro-choice woman, how can you accept that? >> first of all, i prefer the original senate language but we had a job here and that was to get something done for the people of this country with premiums escalating, medicare going in the red by 2017. this was a balance. you want to keep the hyde amendment in place. it says no public funding for abortion. the question was how do you do that when you're dealing with private exchanges? and what the compromise said was basically if you're getting subsidies, you can choose, you can have a policy that has abortion in it, can you have a policy that doesn't. it always has to have a policy that doesn't cover abortion. if you're in one that covers abortion, then you have to have two transactions basically for how you pay for that to make sure that no public funding is used for that abortion. >> are you offended by this? >> i am offended that so many people don't have insurance in this country. i'm offended that kids get sick and their parents are running
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around trying to get treatment for them because they are kicked off their insurance. i'm offended by that. would i have preferred the senate language originally? of course i would. >> as a liberal democrat there's a lot you have to stomach in this bill. let's put it on the screen. no public option no, buy-in, no end to the antitrust exemption nor insurers, new restrictions on abortion. you're a liberal, there are other liberals like howard dean, other big labor unions say it's a bridge too far, that it's no longer true reform, it's a bailout for insurance companies and should have been voted down. >> my major focus was about reducing cost. minnesota is a medical mecca. you see all kinds of cost reforms in this bill. a bunch of our taxpayer money is getting sucked down to florida where they don't have as efficient health care system. i think the people of florida should have mayo-type services, high quality, low-cost care.
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>> so what do you say to a liberal like howard dan who says kill the bill? >> i disagree with him. i don't have that ability to just like leave my christmas presents and go home. we got to get something down here. >> senator conrad, what do you expect to happen? this isn't the ebb end of the process, it's just another step in the perils of pauline, what do you expect to happen in the house, senate conference, next month after struggling for months to get senate democrats on board to accept this, what are you going to do for democrats who have a bill which is considerably to the left of your bill? >> i think any bill is going to have to be very close to what the senate has passed because we're still going to have to get 60 votes. anybody who has watched this process can see how challenging it has been to get 60 votes. let me see if i n on this question of reducing medicare, there are $500 billion of savings to medicare. most of those savings have been
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negotiated with providers. they are going to get less than anticipating. they've agreed to those savings because they know they're going to get 30 million more customers. that is a dramatic increase in business for them and they are sharing some of the savings so that we can pay forthis bill. there's not unreasonable. >> to go back to the question of the conference, you're saying that you can't go further? that the house is basically going to have to accept -- the house is going to have to accept the senate bill? >> it is very clear that the bill, the final bill to pass in the united states senate is going to be -- have to be very close to the bill that has been negotiated here. otherwise you will not get 60 votes in the united states senate. so, look, this is a bill that does reduce the deficit according to the independent expert. this is a bill that expands corage to 30 million people. this is a bill that will begin to control the cost explosion,
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has got critically important insurance reforms, delivery system reforms. so those who say "kill the bill," i think they've really missed the boat. this is critically important legislation to this country and frankly, to do nothing which is what i heardenator mccain say, that's not an option. we are headed for medicare being bankrupt in eight years. premiums are rising three times as fast as wages. doing nothing is really not an option. >> let me pick up if i can because we're running out of time, senator klobuchar. according to the latest survey, 57% of voters given a choice between do nothing, you were talking about this senator conrad, 57% say it would be better to pass no health care reform bill, only 34% say it would be better to pass the bill. senator, don't democrats run a considerable political risk when
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you pass major legislation with no bipartisan support over what seems to be almost a 2-1 opposition from the american people? >> do you know what the poll numbers were on medicare when they voted for medicare decades and decades ago? 28% of the people favored it. now 96% do. i don't blame the people for being mad right now, all of this bickering, this has gone on and on and on. they want us to get something done. my view is once we get this done, some of these reforms are going to hit immediately. if your kid gets sick, you're no longer going to be banned from getting inslurns. >> some won't kick in until 2014. >> by 2011 seniors are going to be able to sta having their prescription drugs covered that weren't covered before. the taxes got moved to 2011. you saw bringing to the the taxation and benefits. >> most benefits don't come in till 2014. >> a number come in sooner, the preexisting conditions on kids,
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lifetime limits on coverage. a number of them have been moved up. >> you said the other day in the short term this is going to be a political drag for democrats. how come? >> because there have been hundreds of millions of dollars spent misrepresenting what is in this bill. and people are confused. people of my state have had millions and millions of dollars of advertising spent saying things that just aren't so about this legislation. >> senators, that's one of the reasons we have you and these shows exist so you and senator mccain on the other side can set the record straight. thank you so much for coming in today both of you. i know it wasn't an easy trip, though you from minnesota -- >> i'm used to it. why do you think you invited us in today? >> we did take that into account. up next, the president goes to copenhagen and comes back with a
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climate deal sort of. (dial-up modem)
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and at at&t, the future has always been and at at&t, the future has always been our business. at&t... your world... delivered. today we've made a meaningful and unprecedented breakthrough here in copenhagen. for the first time in history all major economies have come together to accept their responsibility to take action to confront the threat of climate change. >> president obama trumpeting a climate deal in copenhagen
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friday. it's time now for our sunday group. fox news contributors bill cristol of the "national standard," former white house press secretary dana perino. the president calls the climate deal an unprecedented breakthrough. what do you call it? >> i'm happy about it. there was no binding agreement. there's not going to be a binding agreement next year in mexico city. kyoto, the current accord, runs out in 2012 and we'll be liberated from all this. i've watched ahmadinejad giving anti-american speeches during this global warming congress. i'm glad it's done limited damage to the u.s. economy. >> that's why probably politically this issue has been defused a littlevl president. i think there was a kind of perverse silver lining in this. obviously it was disappointment for environmentalists who wanted
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something binding and wanted more firm targets but i think what it means is that a very small step has been taken and now we'll see if the senate will pass this treaty but this no longer is this huge burning issue because some of the juice ha been taken out of conservatives. >> do you agree with bill in his own backhanded way that copenhagen didn't accomplish much? >> oh, of course. copenhagen did not accomplish what it set out to do. it was a symbolic step forward, not a big, stub stan tiff step forward but i think it's the end of all this kind of process, this united nations meganegotiations format. from now on it's going to be a smaller group of country, a boils down to two, the united states and china. >> it may be all promises but it does commit each country to state its current pledge for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. it does put the various countries on record to promise to allow monitoring of their programs, whether they do it.
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isn't that something? >> it's a little bit of something but it is a scaled back version of what china and india had even agreed to last year. what i think is interesting is what senator mikowski has said, let's assume there's no international agreement and move forward and get an energy bill that allows us to build more nuclear power plants, get the different energy we need and move forward to bring certainty to this. i think ultimately that helps the economy. >> are your colleagues here being too cynical? >> it accomplished nothing. zero, zilch. from bill's perspective, he wanted nothing done, nothing was done. the chinese are ducking president obama while he was there so that they wouldn't have to negotiate a deal. and there's nothing binding about this. the poor countries that were looking for some kind of relief, some kind of leadership from the
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major nation, china and the u.s., got zero and feel more threatened now than they did before the conference. the reason that president obama changed his schedule -- initially he was to go early in the process. the reason then was his credibility would not take a hit if no deal was accomplished. just keep him at the front end celebratory part. instead they decide, no, there's a chance for a deal, china and india are talking, president obama will go at the end and he'll be there to say he's the deal maker. well, he goes and nothing happens. he's come back with no deal on emissions, no monitoring, the china said it would be an invasion of their sovereignty. it's dangerous to his status internationally. people who are his supporters worry he's taken a major hi >> bill, the developing countries wanted more than just beending treaties, they wanted money. one of the things that the big
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countries, the eeu and the united states committed to was $10 billion a year for three years to help them cut their greenhouse gas emissions and then i love this, an as -- aspirational goal. what do you think the chances are that the u.s. will pay those billions out? >> not great. i'd love to see that the money will go to where it's said it's going to. leave aside whether it's worth spending that money in the first place. i don't think that's serious. the one thing that happened that we're going to remember is not the copenhagen meeting it's the environmental protection agency ruling issued on december 7th. which is an attempt a huge regulatory scheme, this is binding, this is real, unlike copenhagen and this will be a
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huge regulatory burden on the u.s. economy. i believe congress next year congress isn'toing to be debating copenhagen, they're going to be debating overriding this epa regulation which i think when people see the extent of it and its intrusiveness and the cost to the u.s. economy, people are going to be shocked. >> let me pick up with you on that for a minute, mara. the supreme court said that the epa could regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions and the epa has gone with this and had a dangerment finding saying it's a danger to people's health and they're going to regulate it unless congress legislates. but there's some push back in congress where they're saying we may override the epa and prevent them from doing that. >> that may happen. the ball is in the senate's court and they have to figure out what they want to do about the epa and cap and trade and when they want to do it. yeah, i think that's what's going to happen. but the idea of the epa moving
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forward was to put pressure on the senate, that if they weren't going to go forward, the administration would do this because it does have these powers conferred upon them by the supreme court. >> these powers are pursuant to legislation. the court said the legislation entitles and requires dr the legislation can be amended. i think you will see republicans in congress moving very hard to either stop the regulation, which they can do independently or change the clean air act, make clear the clean air act was designed for a lot of things. it was not designed to regulate the entire u.s. economy. >> all they're trying to regulate right now is some of the small trucks that are going with the transportation department saying let's put limitations on emissions. do you want to live in beijing where you can't breathe the air? where they can't have olympics because the air is so filthy? >> did they not have the olympics in beijing? >> they shut down all the factories, they kept the traffic out of the city. i think bill wants to live in a place where dirty air, hand out gas masks to the children before
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they go to school and you say it's just a matter of the american economy. the american economy would be helped by going green. that would be innovation. >> dana? >> the clean air act has done beautiful things. they're ratcheted down so people are not allowed to do as much emissions as even they were two years ago but the difference is carbon. how do you find technologies that will allow you to strip carbon out of emissions from traditional fossil fuel burnings? that's one of the reasons to move forward, do it smart, do it effectively and assume there's no international agreement and get a bill down here for us. >> we have to take a break here but when we come back, late nights, working weather centereds and now a snowstorm. we'll make sense of what the senate was up to as they reached health care reform and what it will mean for you.
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murkowski on this day in 1963 the berlin wall opened for the first time allowing west berliners with special pass toes visit families in east berlin. the wall was finally torn down in 1989. stay tuned for more from our panel onned and our -- and our power player of the week.
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the result had to be a bill that saved lives, saved money and saved medicare. we did that. >> this bill is a legislative train wreck of historic proportions. >> well, that was senate leaders harry reid and mitch mcconnell putting their very different spins on the democratic deal on health care reform. bill, you have been nothing if not consistent for months in saying that you do not think that the democrats are going to pass sweeping health care reform. after the nelson deal and the apparent 60th vote and the apparent passage by the senate, do you still feel that way? >> i think they still have problems in the house but i think the odds are they will succeed in the suicide mission they have engaged on and the first time will pass on a purely partisan vote a massive piece of legislation that is manifestly
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unpopular. good luck. good luck selling this. >> well, i agree that they're going to pass it. i think bill finally realizes that this thing had a certain kind of grinding momentum as shaky as it looked at every step of the way. i don't think it was an accident president obama chose the metaphor we're at the precipice of passing health care reform because most of the time it looked like it was falling off the >> of the cliff. everyone has their price and ben nelson had his. when planned parenthood and national rights to life group both say they hate the abortion language, maybe it came out right in the middle. it can't make abortions harder to get and easier to get with federal funding. >> dana, let's go through the bill. there's a lot to like in the bill. it expands coverage to 31 million americans, it cuts the deficit, according to the cbo,
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by $130 billion. there's a lot not to like in the bill. it raises taxes by half a trillion dollars and greatly expands government's role in health care. looking at the plusses and minuses, how do you sore it out? >> i think this is a massive entitlement expansion that will subsidize a lot of people without the reform that was needed. we don't know what's going to happen. it says 23 million people are going to remain uninsured. i don't know how to break out those numbers. in addition to that, it does say in 2010 they assume doctors will be reduced in their reimbursements by 21% thisis called doc fix on capitol hill. it never happens. i would see speaker explosiony and harry reid to sign a pledge they will vote to cut doctor's pay by 21%. it has never happened before. >> juan, when you look at the plusses and minuses, your idea of plusses and minuses are
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different than dana's, how do you sort it out? >> this is something the american people are going to come to embrace over time. right now we're all tangled up in the weeds about this idea, this amendment, had got what in order to get their vote and it's a very negative perception. if you ask people specifically about this in the poll, they tend to be negative. but if you ask in general do we need health care reform in this country, it's overwhelming. the american people want health care reform. what happens in this bill? the insurance companies now have to spend 80% of their premiums on actually delivers health care. that's a good thing. if you think about the fact that now we're going to have i think it's 94% of the american people under the age of 65 covered, have health insurance, that is a tremendous breakthrough. that's historic. that's a tremendous accomplishment for president obama and this congress. that's a good thing to do. this christmas season that's a gift to the american people. >> go ahead. >> i was going to say we're talking about this as a completely done deal.
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this has to be conferenced with the house and it has to be passed and then there is a huge, huge job to convince the american people that it is a good thing. the white house is going to have to do that at the same time republicans are going to be saying every single day pointing out all the things they don't like about it. >> let me pick up on this about the conference. you heard can't conrad say we were barely able to get 60 on board for this. obviously the house bill is considerably to the left of this on the taxes, on the public option and he was in effect saying forget it, the senate bill is the way it's going to have to be. >> this is going to be a very painful thing for the house of representatives because they have to realize they're not in the driver's seat because the math is not on their side. 60 votes in the senate is what you need to pass a bill and they're going to have to agree to a bill that can get 60 votes in the senate. >> he wants this as a gift to the american people. it's a gift to big government, a gift to big insurancers who get a trillion dollars from the
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american public from 2014 to 2024, it's a gift to big pharmaceutical companies who are don't get drug reimportation, a staple -- for five years, they gave up on that and cut a deal for the big pharmaceutical companies and huge medicare cuts, going to about $100 billion a year once this bill completely kicks in in the mid part of the next decade. those medicare cuts are serious. the cbo says because of the medicare cuts, this could reduce access to care or diminish the quality of care. >> no, bill -- >> reduce access to care or diminish the quality of care. this is going to hurt the quality of care and/or reduce access to care especially to seniors. >> you are going to scare tactics, especially aimed at seniors who feel they don't want any violation of their medicare
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coverage, even medicare advantage. you're not talking about a nation that's coming to grips that the cost is escalating at such a rate the whole system is going to do bankrupt. we have to do something. where are responsible republicans who would say to the american people we're going to have to have some cutbacks and let's do it in an effective way that allows the entire health care system to be reformed and cover more americans, especially those children and the poor in need. >> i think there are republicans who are willing to do that, mitch mcconnell and john boehner but this bill isn't it. >> why is what's going to happen to medicare in this bill so bad? >> it doesn't reform the program. it just cuts it. it takes $500 billion and spend it is on other services. cbo says it doesn't bend the cost curve down. it doesn't lower costs over time. i agree that it has to happen. in addition to that, a spectacular breaking of a pledge, president obama said he would not raise taxes on the individuals he's about to raise
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taxes on. >> the rich. >> he defined them as the middle class. that was his definition. >> $250,000. >> well, we settled this here. thank you, panel. see you next week. doesn't forget to check out the latest edition of panel plug where this group continues the discussion on our web site. up next, our power player of the week.
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. it's become a christmas tradition around here to share a story of how one family found a new way 17 years ago to express the holiday spirit. it's a remarkable example of gratitude, generosity and patriotism. once again, here's our power player of the week. >> we wouldn't have the opportunities if it wasn't for the people that fought fo us. and gave their lives for us. >> it's that plain-spoken wisdom that has driven morrill worcester for years on a mission that has touched america's heart. each december he places wreaths at arlington national cemetery and thousands of volunteers there are to help him. >> i think a lot of people think
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like i do. they appreciate the veterans and want to show it. >> this begins in 1962 when worcester, a 12-year-old paper boy from maine, won a trip to washington. what impressed him most was arlington, its beauty and dignity and those rows and rows of graves. >> every one represents a life and a family and a story. they're not just tombstones. those are all people. >> 30 years later in 1992 worcester was running his own wreath company in harrington, maine. but as christmas approached, he had a bunch left over. >> these wreaths are real fresh and just made and i just didn't want to throw them away. >> he thought of arlington and all those graves. when the cemetery approved, he and a dozen volunteers drove the wreaths down and laid them on the headstones. and so it continued for years until a few christmases back when an air force sergeant took
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this picture, which ended up on the internet. >> it kind of struck a nerve and people e-mailed it to each other and it really went around the world. >> we were there the next year as he and his workers at the worcester wreath company loaded up 5,265 wreaths. then they embarked on what worcester calls the world's longest veteran's parade, a 750-mile journey that at some points attracted more than a hundred vehicles. and when they got to arlington, so many people wand to participate. >> this ceremony you are about to witness is an army replaying ceremony to be conducted for the worcester wreath company. >> for years worcester paid for all of this out of his on pocket and he started wreaths across america, sending hundreds to cemeteries and war memorials around the country. but he will need help to reach his new goal. >> i think around 2.7 million
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graves and that's a tall order to decorate 2.7 million graves. so -- >> but you'd like to do it, wouldn't you? >> i really would, yeah, sometime. i don't know how but, hey. >> how long are you going to keep doing this? >> i'm going to keep doing it for as long as i work and then i know my family is going to continue. so it will be here for a long time. >> worcester is finally getting some financial help. wal-mart has donated $150,000 to lay 16,000 wreaths at military sites across america. and next december, morrill worcester will be at it again for the 18th year. and that's it for today. have a great week and a merry christmas and we'll see you next fox news sunday. 
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